FOX: Please no colorized DVDs!

Peter Apruzzese

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As has been reported on DVDFile, Fox is planning on releasing three Shirley Temple films - Bright Eyes, Heidi, Dimples - "colorized". Please reconsider this approach - we don't need these awful versions released, please stick to the original black and white only! At the very least, put the black and white version on the DVD as well (but not by simply pulling the color out of the colorized versions, this royally screws up the greyscale).
Thank You.
 

Jesse Skeen

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"Miracle on 34th Street" was put out on DVD a while ago by some other company (not Fox) with a colorized version on one side and the original black and white on the other (this might've been some other Christmas movie, I don't remember). Though colorized movies haven't been around much lately, I heard Fox put the Shirley Temple movies out on tape colorized because "kids won't watch anything in black and white" (or something to that effect.) I feel about colorizing the same way I do about remixing mono soundtracks for 5.1 or doing pan and scan- do it if you must, but give us the un-molested version on the same disc!
 

Peter Apruzzese

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Bump.
Still waiting to hear from Fox on this atrocity. Please tell us the real deal - are they going to be the original black & white or the "colorized" versions?
 

Jeff Kleist

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I don't remember exactly where, but Robert Harris postulated a theory on why they're colorized. He said that Shirley might have been in blackface, and they "corrected" it by colorizing. Also, the original elements may be destroyed, and only the colorized versions remain
Jeff Kleist
 

Bob Engleman

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Having been in the video sales business since ' 92, and being involved with those on the rental side, I can absolutely state that B&W's almost always the kiss of death for profits. If indeed Fox's releasing these titles colorized, in my opinion they've made a wise decision. It must be understood that a corporation exists not for art preservation, but to enhance shareholder equity.
Bob Engleman
 

Peter Apruzzese

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Well, for the boobs who will only rent or buy a movie if it's in color (are there really people that ignorant out there?), Fox is probably making the right decision. But since we're about preserving the original intent of the film, black & white is the only way to go. The only acceptable thing for Fox to do is to but the "colorized" versions on there as an extra feature for the "color only" dolts.
 

Bob Engleman

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Peter,
It's my understanding that the films in question were shot in the 30's, therefore "original intent's irrelevant". As I'm certain you're aware, even in '39 when GWTW was filmed, there were only 7 technicolor cameras in existence.
While I agree with you that most colorized films look bad, if you ever have the opportunity to watch Casablanca, this's an exception.
Your suggestion of placing both forms on the disc would seem to be a viable solution.
Bob Engleman
 

Jaime_Weinman

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It's my understanding that the films in question were shot in the 30's, therefore
"original intent's irrelevant".

It is far from irrelevant. Even assuming that the director did not choose to use black and white (usually an incorrect assumption, anyway), colorization ruins the director's use of lighting, shading, and contrast. A director and photographer might spend several shots trying to get just the right balance between different shades of gray, or the perfect atmosphere for the scene. All ruined by colorization. And that definitely includes Casablanca, because the director made superb use of black-and-white, and the colorization wrecks it completely.
 

Peter Apruzzese

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While I agree with you that most colorized films look bad, if you ever have the opportunity to watch Casablanca, this's an exception.
I did see some of the Casablanca and it was an abomination. Not only were the tonal values completely wrong, the actual "coloring" was poor - there's just no way to turn a dark grey object into light blue.
Sorry, but "colorization" is a hideous process and should not be supported in any way.
 

Bob Engleman

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Jaime and Peter,
Unfortunately I lack the computer skill to cut as you've done, so I'll respond according to my ability.
Point 1: As I'm sure you'll agree, this would all be moot if the films in discussion were shot today, as they'd be in color. However, being "B" titles from the 30's, the director had no choice but to use B&W. Ergo, the skills of lighting, shading, and contrast were necessities of the industry, not artistic options.
Point 2: In the 30's, it was a matter of economics, and availability, not directorial preference. Certainly we know that Preminger wanted 1965's "In Harm's Way" in B&W; which in my opinion ruined the film. But that's the difference of 30 yrs.
Folks, business's all about profit. As an example, I learned early in video sales that generally TV series sell very poorly, which's why many studios have licensed the product to marketers such as Columbia house. HOWEVER, occasionally I forget and stock a title I like, which's a foolish error. 17 mos. ago, I purchased for resale the first 6 episodes of Babylon 5. Since then, in addition to being in my store, I've placed them on consignment at 4 different rental stores, and 6 blow out super sales at $ 5.00 each; Absolutely not a speck of interest!!!!!!!!
My compliments to each of you for the cordial manner in which you've presented your case.
Bob Engleman
 

Peter Apruzzese

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Bob: You know something, this whole conversation could end if someone from Fox would just come in here and tell us if these releases will only be offered in "colorized" or will also include the real, original versions as well.
Folks, business's all about profit.
This is quite true - and necessary. But it doesn't mean that they should be given a free ride when they do something that's, simply, wrong. If they include both versions (and the B & W's are properly restored), I've got no problems with it. I'm really passionate about black and white photography and "colorization", for whatever reason, rubs me the wrong way.
Glad we've been keeping this cordial as well.
If only Fox would chime in with the information!
Regards.
 

Peter Apruzzese

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Still waiting to hear official word from Fox on this awful "colorized" issue.
(Sorry to bump my own thread here, fellas.)
 

Peter Staddon

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Sorry it's taken a while to get to this thread. Been a bit busy lately

Yes the Shirley Temple DVD's will be colorised, but they will also have the original Black & White available as well on the same disc. When you load the disc you will be asked which version of the movie you would like to watch.
Thanks for your interest,
Peter Staddon
 

Peter Apruzzese

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Peter: Thanks for getting to this thread with the accurate scoop. While I don't like the idea of colorized versions at all, at least these discs will offer the proper black & white versions as well.
Thanks again,
Pete
 

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